Journey to Hope

Navigating Change

 

Change Is not something most of us eagerly anticipate, especially if it is not our plan.  Grief brings about abrupt change.  What was comfortable and familiar yesterday becomes horrifying and different today.   Life can be re-categorized—there is BC (before change) and AD (after death or loss). 


The change around us completely absorbs us. Imagine being in daylight and without any warning we are thrust into darkness. Now imagine attempting to navigate through this new environment.  We may initially just stop in our tracks and refuse to reorient ourselves.  


In BC we could focus on the many parts of our life, in AD we may only be able to focus on our emotions.  We may need someone who sees more light than we can; like a seeing-eye guide.  However the process of grief happens for us, the important thing is that we go through the process.  As we enter into light it is important to remember the type of restoration we receive.  


We do not return to life the way it was; rather we receive replacement parts for what no longer works for us.  When we no longer rely on our emotions to exist and experience some sightedness we will have new understanding when we hear God say…”See I am doing a new thing!  Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  Isaiah 43:19

What the Parable of the Sower Tells Us About Grief

 

When we grieve the loss of something dear to us our faith is often tested.  We are told in the parable of the sower (Matthew 13) of four areas where seeds fell and subsequently grew.  Three areas could not sustain the plants that sprung up—only one could.  Going through grief can reveal our spiritual soil type.  God made soil to be a natural medium for the growth of plants and we are the God-designed medium through which faith is cultivated. 


There is sandy soil that is light and allows oxygen to pass through but it is too light to retain enough water or nutrients. Clay soil is the opposite of sandy soil.  Clay is so dense that oxygen cannot pass through.  It retains nutrients but the density prevents the roots from accessing them and water cannot be absorbed either.   Silt soil is heavier than sandy soil so it holds more nutrients but lighter than clay soil in its consistency.  Because silt moves with water it cannot drain efficiently.  Loam soil is the best for plant growth. It contains an equal balance of the other three soils; sand, clay and silt.  Loam holds nutrients well and retains sufficient water for plants to thrive.


Could our faith be described as on a diet or choked and gasping for air or slip sliding away?  Are we feeding our faith constantly so that we are well-rooted when we face adversity? What God offers us is sufficient to grow our faith.  Take note each day of the bigness of God.  Whether you are in the midst of grief or believe that you are not--in other words no matter what is going on in your life right now, you can tap into God’s nourishment.  God has limitless resources designed for your every need.  Sincerely request spiritual loam soil which incorporates all the beneficial elements and let God keep nourishing your faith. 

Letting Go

 

We might not think that grieving would be an appropriate word to use for the Israelites after they left Egypt. They had been in the land for many years and it had been welcoming and a prosperous time.  But under a new Pharaoh life changed drastically. The bible tells us that the Egyptian masters worked the Israelites “ruthlessly” (Exod. 1:13, 14) and made their lives “bitter” (Exod. 1:14) with “hard/cruel” (Exod. 1:14; 6:9) service. As a result, Israel languished in “misery” and “suffering” (Exod. 3:7).  Even worse than degrading their working environment, Pharaoh then used infanticide to curb the growth of their population.  


To wake up each day and know that you would face more of the same treatment and your infant sons would be snatched and killed--it is no surprise that they were broken in spirit (Exod. 6:9).  After so much oppression we no longer seek help because we do not expect anything to change.  So it seems surprising when they were delivered from the enslavement they complained. 


We can get accustomed to what we know even if it is harmful and frustrating and enslaving. Now in the wilderness the Israelites did not know where their next meals would come from.   They grieved the loss of their home and the separation from the “benefits” they had in Egypt.  They may have physically moved away from enslavement but hearts and spirits had not.  They were still a broken people. 


Remember it was difficult for many to accept the manna in the way God provided.  Some hoarded it when they were told not to; while others looked for it on the Sabbath when God had instructed it would not be found.  They still lived believing that they needed to fend for themselves and find their own way to survive.  They could not accept that God’s presence and abundant provision would be enough.  Do we not act the same way?  


When we have been broken we can only see our way of survival; whatever that looks like.  Yet God is waiting for us to see Him and know Him and realize that He will take care of us completely and in that acknowledgement we can be healed.